Bo & Sita Lozoff founded our Prison-Ashram Project in 1973. They created Human Kindness Foundation in 1987 to encompass the prison work and other projects.
Bo’s first book, We’re All Doing Time (available in paperback or ebook), now in its 19th printing, is available in several languages. It was hailed by the Village Voice as “one of the ten books everyone in the world should read,” and has been lauded by prison staff and prisoners alike as one of the most helpful books ever written for true self-improvement and rehabilitation. The book highlights Bo’s & Sita’s view that revolves squarely around unselfishness and compassion. Bo’s other books are also available, including 2 beautiful children’s books. Bo died November 29, 2012, in a motorcycle accident.
Sita continues to work in the Human Kindness Foundation office full-time, as Co-Director and a member of the Board of Directors. She lovingly reads hundreds of letters from inmates every week. Sita is also a stained glass artist and a gardener.
Awards & Honors
The Lozoffs have been cited for numerous humanitarian awards, including the prestigious Temple Award for Creative Altruism from the Institute for Noetic Sciences. Their sincerity and commitment have earned the respect of hundreds of thousands of prisoners and others around the world who feel inspired to follow a similar path of living simply and joyfully caring about others. In 1999, Bo received an honorary doctorate degree — a Doctor of Laws — from Chicago Theological Seminary.
In Memory of Bo Lozoff
by Douglas Goetsch
a Buddhist, a Muslim, a Sufi,
pilgrim, husband, father, carpenter.
Most of all he was a writer of letters,
and the reason why countless souls
could get up in the morning,
and sleep at night a little less angry and afraid,
a little more likely to say a prayer
for the troubled world outside,
a world they might never see again.
Picture the worst thing you’ve ever done,
then picture having to think of that heinous thing
every waking moment of your life,
and picture, most of all, the place
you would be in, while you contemplate it,
cement and razorwire outside, but on
the inside, a locale even more arid—
that’s the place where Bo addressed
his letters, thousands of them,
telling people to listen to your better angel,
see the cell as a world, see the prison block
as a garden, see the divine in the faces
of the guards, the bullies, prosecuting
attorneys, parole boards; write your daughter,
apologize to your ex-, renounce
your pals—they’re not your friends—
forgive your father, forgive yourself.
How many, today, are wandering around
with a letter from Bo in their pocket,
tucked in a sock, up a shirtsleeve,
down a brassiere, under a bunk mattress—
a folded and refolded note they’ve read
again and again until they know it by heart,
inhaled it and exhaled it in their sleep,
woke up finally determined to do one
good thing, however small, for somebody
other than themselves, and that letter
always closing with the two words:
Thousands of messages sent off
into the vortex of the night—
Leavenworth, Angola, San Quentin,
Pelican Bay, Huntsville, Stateville,
Sing Sing, Attica, Folsom Prison,
and the Horizon Juvenile Detention Facility,
where an undersized kid from the South Bronx
jumped up and down in his puke green jumper
like it was his birthday, a letter from Bo
in his hands, in answer to his impossible
problem, and the question:
What would you do?
How many times have we all asked that?
What would Bo do?
The answer’s already in the question,
the fact that we’re even asking,
along with that word at the bottom
of the page: Love. Find a way
to love, get out of the way of love.
We’re all doing time, as we know by now,
and that might not sound so great,
but how lucky we were
that Bo did his time with us.